How To Appear Invisible (Offline) on Facebook Chat and Messenger
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Facebook Messenger has grown 11 Ways Facebook Messenger Will Soon Rule Your Life 11 Ways Facebook Messenger Will Soon Rule Your Life You might be put off by all of the features Facebook Messenger has, but you have to admit that this big boy is going places. Read More to become an all-encompassing messaging app that works on several different platforms.

The app is no longer a just a way for you to share a few jokes with your friend. Depending on the platform you’re using, it can read your SMS messages Facebook Revamping Messenger for Android, Integrates SMS Facebook Revamping Messenger for Android, Integrates SMS Facebook has launched a new version of its Messenger for Android, which also works with text messaging and comes with a whole new look. Read More , make voice calls, and even make video calls.

If it’s all become too much and you’re fed up with being pestered every day, you need to cut your ties. It’s time to go invisible.

But how? With so many versions of the app, it’s easier said than done. In this article, we’re going to run through the process on some of the most popular operating systems.

Web App

If you still log on to Facebook through a web browser, you’re in the minority. According to the company’s most recent set of statistics, almost 90 percent of its daily active users access the network on mobile devices.

Perhaps that’s why Facebook seems to have neglected the chat aspect of the web app. Frankly, it’s confusing.

Despite the Messenger brand name being part of the Facebook lexicon since 2013, Facebook still hasn’t managed to create a unified experience for people using browsers. There’s Facebook Chat and Facebook Messenger.

The two apps link to the same set of messages in your inbox, but they have slightly different sets of options and work in slightly different ways.

One of the ways in which they differ is how to go offline.


The easiest way to go offline is using the Facebook Messenger portal.

To get started, click the Messenger shortcut in the panel on the left-hand side of your screen. Alternatively, you can select the appropriate icon in the blue bar at the top of the Facebook home screen, then click on See all in Messenger.

How To Appear Invisible (Offline) on Facebook Chat and Messenger facebook messenger shortcut

Once you’re looking at your Messenger home screen, you need to locate the gear icon in the upper left-hand corner. Click on it and choose Settings.

How To Appear Invisible (Offline) on Facebook Chat and Messenger facebook messenger offline pc

A new window will pop up. Annoyingly, the way to become invisible (or go offline) isn’t labeled. You need to slide the toggle next to your name into the Off position. Click on Done when you have finished.

Facebook Chat

It’s also possible to become invisible using the Facebook Chat feature on the main home screen.

Oddly, Facebook chat actually offers a more granular level of control over your visibility. It seems strange given it’s the only place across the entire social network where Facebook still uses the Chat brand name extensively.

The chat feature takes up the panel on the right-hand side of the screen. To go offline, click the gear icon in the very bottom right-hand corner (next to Search).

How To Appear Invisible (Offline) on Facebook Chat and Messenger facebook chat offline

This is where you can get specific. You’ll see two important options you need to pay attention to: Turn Off Chat and Turn Off Video/Voice Calls. These are hopefully self-explanatory. You can disable one and leave the other enabled if you wish.

Interestingly, you can specify certain people for whom you want to appear online or offline. Click Turn Off Chat and a new window will pop up.

Selecting one of the bottom two options – Turn off chat for all contacts except… or Turn off chat for some contacts only… – lets you control who exactly can and cannot see you. Just type the people’s names into the box and click OK when you’re ready.

How To Appear Invisible (Offline) on Facebook Chat and Messenger facebook chat turn off specific

Similarly, the Turn Off Video/Voice Calls option also offers extra levels of granularity. When you click on the link, you can choose to disable the feature for one hour, until 8 AM the following day, or until you turn it back on manually.

How To Appear Invisible (Offline) on Facebook Chat and Messenger facebook chat video off

Lastly, it’s also worth noting the Block Settings option. It lets you completely prevent certain people from contacting you. Just go to Block Settings > Block users to set it up.

How To Appear Invisible (Offline) on Facebook Chat and Messenger facebook block users

Windows Store Apps

Like on mobile, there are two versions of Facebook in the Windows Store; a basic Facebook app and a Messenger-specific app.

Ready to be confused? Good.

If you use the main Facebook app, you can only appear invisible using the Facebook Chat method I described above. There’s no way to access Messenger.

How To Appear Invisible (Offline) on Facebook Chat and Messenger facebook windows app 298x500

If you only use the Messenger app How to Use Messenger Without Facebook How to Use Messenger Without Facebook Just because you've sworn off Facebook doesn't mean you can't take advantage of all Messenger has to offer! These steps will have you using Messenger without starting a Facebook account. Read More , click on the People icon in the bottom right-hand corner, then select the Active tab at the top of the page. Slide the toggle next to your name to suit your preferences.

Android and iOS

Although the Android and iOS Messenger apps still have some very minor design differences, the functionality of the two apps is almost identical. The process for making yourself invisible while chatting is the same on both platforms.

Once again, the process isn’t obvious if you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s almost as if Facebook doesn’t want you to appear offline!

Fire up the app, and you’ll see a list of all your most recent chats. On first glance, you might expect the offline toggle to be hidden behind your profile picture, but you’d be wrong. Instead, you need to tap on the Contacts icon at the bottom of the screen (it looks like a picture of a menu).

How To Appear Invisible (Offline) on Facebook Chat and Messenger facebook messenger offline android 571x500

Now, turn your attention to the top of the screen and tap on the Active tab. Slide the toggle next to your name into the Off position to become invisible.

Confused yet? Me too.

Do You Stay Invisible on Facebook Messenger?

Why does Facebook make it so difficult to go offline while using its various chat-based products? It’s so complicated that very few users probably bother to make the changes.

Indeed, compare the process on Facebook to an app like Skype 6 Free Skype Alternatives for the Windows Desktop 6 Free Skype Alternatives for the Windows Desktop Have you had enough of Skype? This group and video chat messenger has tough competition. Here are six free services that can replace Skype for you. Read More , which makes it easy to change your status, and it’s easy to conclude that Facebook has ulterior motives Facebook Is Tracking You! Here's How to Stop It Facebook Is Tracking You! Here's How to Stop It Who is tracking your movements online? ISPs, the government, Google... but what about social media sites like Facebook? Yes, them too. Here's how you stop Facebook tracking you around the internet. Read More .

Did you know it was so hard to go offline on Facebook? Do you even use Facebook Messenger or is the loss of privacy too much of a worry Facebook Privacy: 25 Things The Social Network Knows About You Facebook Privacy: 25 Things The Social Network Knows About You Facebook knows a surprising amount about us – information we willingly volunteer. From that information you can be slotted into a demographic, your "likes" recorded and relationships monitored. Here are 25 things Facebook knows about... Read More ?

As always, you can leave all your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.

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  1. Beth
    May 2, 2018 at 4:17 pm


  2. Beth
    May 2, 2018 at 4:17 pm


  3. J
    May 2, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    You do all of that (turning chat off etc) and when you are on fb just scrolling through your news feed it says you were active 1min ago so people will think you were only just online. Wanting to turn chat off and be able to look on fb and it say active 1hr ago Or 2hr ago or how ever long it actually was you were online last before turning chat off. Im up very late some nights & always get asked why were you awake at 3-4am I saw you were active 2hrs ago or whatever. It's no-ones business and fb need to update this so we can fully turn our online status off and enjoy looking at our news feeds without showing up as active 1min ago if we choose to be hidden. If you can do this now then I wanna know how & if not the fb sort it tf out

  4. Grant
    April 23, 2018 at 5:53 pm

    When I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify me
    when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the exact same comment.
    Perhaps there is a means you are able to remove me from that service?
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  5. Fluffy
    April 20, 2018 at 10:06 pm

    Well it did count when I'm not using the app. But when I do, it shows "1m" so it's still obvious you are or you were online.. Is there a way to just remove this?

  6. Merry Mom
    March 13, 2018 at 8:31 pm

    I used to be able to toggle the switch like this on my iPhone, but now I cannot. I am just going to delete the Messenger app because it appears that there is no way to be invisible anymore. I am really tired of people nagging me the second I try to check my messages. If you just try to check your one or two messages, then you get 10 more people pounce on you if they see that you’re active! Terrible design!

  7. Mast
    February 20, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    I did it trying to turn off the chat and am still appear active. My friend still sees me as active and it actually annoys me because random people keep chatting me.

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  10. Psych Student
    September 7, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Thank you for the helpful post on how to disable your online visibility on Facebook. I knew how to disable Chat on my desktop, but couldn't work out how to go offline on Messenger on my Samsung, since Facebook removed the feature where you could swipe to the right on your News Feed and go offline.

    With regard to your other comments - Facebook is extremely popular (this is fact) and (now, this bit is just my personal opinion but may be backed up in research) most people view Facebook in a positive light; it's easy to connect with and communicate with others; to pass the time as a distraction; to shop and find fun things to do...

    In social psychology there's a phenomenon known as the halo effect - this is also employed in sales, advertising, the business world. The halo effect is basically where if you see enough positive traits about a person/an event, this will lead you to feel positive feelings towards this person/event in other ways. For example, if your crush is really intelligent, and hot, you might be inclined to think they have a caring nature, too.

    Facebook knows this. Facebook knows that it has enough positive traits to outweigh the negative traits for most users, at least to the point of annoyance where people stop using the thing that Facebook wants them to use. This is where the power of persuasion comes in. Without writing an essay, Facebook doesn't want us to appear offline because one of its goals is worldwide connectivity, which cannot be attained if its users are appearing offline. If an individual doesn't appear as available to be interacted with so readily, people might be less likely to contact them in general - which could effect Facebook's success as a business.

    These are just my thoughts and opinions and thanks again for the helpful article. :)

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